THE VERSATILITY OF THE VALLHUND
Writtin by Lynn Pallatina
There are 2 main types of obedience training. Pet obedience and competitive obedience. Both work off the same principle to have an obedient dog. So what is an obedient dog? There are many answers to this question and most will depend on what the handler what's from his or her dog. To me the answer is simple, to have a dog respond to commands first time every time.
Dog training in general improves the bond you have with your dog which in turn makes for a happy, well-adjusted family pet and basic obedience skills can be developed in to more complex tricks or developed in to the various dog sports available to you today. Obedience training is the foundation of all dog sports in one shape or another. To help you and your puppy or dog get on the right path the kennel club has introduced the Canine Good Citizens Scheme. Competitive obedience takes the skills learned during basic obedience training and adds style, precision as well as building a stronger team with your dog. It does this by helping you engage with your dog and spend time teaching him all the skills you need for the next competition.
There are 6 stages of testing. First is pre-beginners and beginners. The tests in these classes are very similar to the good citizens tests and build a solid foundation for those who which to climb the ladder to grade C, which is the top grade in obedience. Each test consists of various commands and manoeuvres each getting harder as the higher up the ladder you go, by asking for more accuracy and by adding more commands. Each test consists of a certain amount of commands which may include sit, down, heel work and recall as well as both sit and down stays and retrieves. Each getting more difficult as you climb the ladder to the top
I started pet obedience training back in 1996. I saw a TV programme of some amazing collies doing some amazing tricks and I knew I just had to have a go. So I set off and tried to teach our 7 year old Doberman x Jack Russell some of the things I had seen. By the time I was 18 I decided I needed a younger dog and one of my very own. I brought myself a German Shepherd and he made my head spin he picked things up with ease. We joined a local training club and rose through the good citizens schemes. I really enjoyed showing friends and family what my boy could do and I had no idea at this point about competitive obedience so sadly Zeus never competed.
It wasn't until I got my Malinois that I learned about competitive obedience, and while she enjoyed it the stress of going to events wasn't for her so she is retired from competitions. Now I have my Vallhund Loki what can I say he is a dream to train. And I hope to get him into competitions real soon! I took Training one step further and decided to open my own club last year. I do think obedience training is very addictive fun and the bond it helps you and your dog build is second to none. I started Loki in competitive obedience as it seemed the natural thing to do. He was doing so well in pet obedience training I was constantly looking for ways to make it harder to feed his thirst for learning. He just loves to use his brain and to please me so it's a perfect sport for us. I really enjoy the atmosphere and showing off my boy. And u get to know many other people who are the same.
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